Sunday, July 01, 2007

Another Milestone...

Our boys have a friend who lives just across the street. M turned six in May and was adopted from China. Her parents tell this heart-wrenching story of her being discovered in a gutter in China, wrapped in a blanket with a bottle, but no birth certificate or clues to who she belonged to or when she was born. They said based on her size, they picked a date and called it her birthday.

I get that, and I think I have written about this before. I understand that whole idea, but the bottom line is they are wrong. This girl is either the biggest Chinese person I have ever seen or she is actually like 8. We first noticed it when she turned "4" and all the sudden became highly verbal and would hold extremely sophisticated conversations with us--leaving our then 4 year old starring at her totally clueless.

She used to be closer with Sam, but in the last year, Sam has become old news for her and she prefers Phillip, for two reasons I think. First, he is closer to her real age (despite her "official" age) and second, he happily accepts bossing from girls.

So, where is this story going? Because she demonstrated some even more "mature" behavior this week. We had a neighborhood meeting with the City one evening on a corner, across the street from our house. Her dad dropped her off so she could play while we were all at the meeting. We could see them from the meeting and they appeared to be rather busy.

She stayed a little longer, they played in the backyard, hidden in the forest. Finally, the sun started to set, I was finished cleaning up dinner and it was time to get ready for bed. Jeff walked her home and the boys piled in the door, sweaty and smiling ear to ear.

"Mom, we played a secret game with M." Oh boy. I was pretty sure I knew where this was going. So much for the secret part of the game. I probed further.

"You did? What was it?" I asked. Sam continued to disclose the secret. "We showed her our butts and penises." Okay, this conversation just went exactly where I wished it wouldn't but thought it would. I asked for more details. Was it her idea or theirs? Did they get naked or just pull their pants down? Did she show them anything?

Mostly I feared they both pulled a "hey, check this out" and exposed themselves. But, the details followed and it seemed to be as to be expected. She told them what to show and they would flash it. I didn't really react and told them that while I know we wonder what other people might look like under their clothes, those are private parts and even if a friend asks to see them, we should tell them it's private.

But, I still wanted more details. Phillip wasn't playing along. He was tight-lipped, but Samuel was spilling. I kept asking how they got to that point; what were they playing the moment before it happened? Sam gave me all the dirt. Totally innocent, totally curious. Sam thought it was so funny what she said. "She said now show me your dee-dee, or what is the other word for it?" I tried a few options, like pee pee, but he kept saying no, that isn't it. I asked Phillip was the word was she used. "Wiener, she said wiener."

I went back to Sam, "Did she call it a wiener?" "Yes! That's it!" and he rolled and rolled of laughter. Oh, and she showed nothing, she was just the director. I asked if they asked to see anything, they were both very, very adamant and embarrassed about even the possibility and said, no, no, no way. But, I know, it is probably only a matter of time before they do ask.

Seems as if no matter how open and honest you (you in the collective sense of us) are about body parts, kids are still curious. It is natural, normal and in its own right, a milestone of development...just much harder to swallow than cutting teeth or learning to crawl.


Anonymous said...

Oh, crap. I don't even want to think about these upcoming situations! You have to choose words so carefully because you don't want the kid to get a complex, but still want them to know the correct thing to do.

Anne said...

How familiar this sounds!!

Chris said...

Hi Kris! Amanda had a situation like that with her male cousins within the last year! She was also the director, so we have had MANY talks about what is appropriate:)

Amanda Sue said...

"This girl is either the biggest Chinese person I have ever seen or she is actually like 8"

this cracked me up! guess when she gets boobies in the third grade, it will be painfully obvious.